|1||New Mexico State University||Las Cruces|
|2||Southwest University of Visual Arts||Albuquerque|
Our 2019 rankings of the top animation school programs in New Mexico. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
1. New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico
New Mexico State University (NMSU) was founded in 1888 as Las Cruces College. Through five campuses, the school serves approximately 24,580 students enrolled in more than 100 programs through seven colleges and the graduate school. The Las Cruces campus, which serves nearly 14,500 students, is NMSU’s largest campus.
The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest college at NMSU, teaching every freshman and offering degrees to over 6,000 majors. The college is home to 24 academic departments, including the Creative Media Institute for Film and Digital Arts (CMI). The Institute offers a Bachelor of Creative Media in Animation & Visual Effects (BCM-ANVE) or Digital Filmmaking. A Minor in Animation & Visual Effects and Certificates in Graphics and Animation and Creative Media are also available.
Per the school, the 120 credit, cross-disciplinary BCM-ANVE program “prepares students for the 21st century in Digital Filmmaking and Animation & Visual Effects.” Students in the program will study all aspects of digital filmmaking and digital arts, whether they are aspiring animators, directors, cinematographers, or writers.
The CMI curriculum, which focuses on the art, craft, and business of storytelling, consists of courses such as 2D Animation, 3D Animation, Character Design and Development, Digital Illustration, Drawing for Animation, Modeling, Rigging for 3D Animation, Screenwriting, Sets and Environment, 2D and 3D Production Studio, Visual Effects, and Writing for Animation.
Other program highlights include internship and study abroad opportunities, access to a state of the art digital projection screening room, post-production lab, animation lab, and production space, and free entry into the Las Cruces International Film Festival.
2. Southwest University of Visual Arts (SUVA), Albuquerque, New Mexico
Founded in 1983, Southwest University of Visual Arts (SUVA) offers eight undergraduate degree programs, including a BA in Animation, and MFA graduate degrees in Painting & Illustration, Photography, Motion Arts and Graphic Design. A 16 credit hour Minor in Animation is also available.
Per the school, the BA in Animation “provides a comprehensive study into the mechanics and applications of animation.” Students in the program will learn how to “create movement and special effects for animated stories, motion pictures, video games and commercials.” The program begins with foundation courses in design and computers. It advances to editing pictures and sound, production techniques, 2D & 3D modeling and animation.
Specific course titles include Animating Performances & 3D Animation, Animation Studio, Character Movement & Digital 2D Animation, Creative Thinking, Design Solutions, Dramatic Sequences & Story Elements, Into the Studio: Basic Animation Skills/Digital Tools for Animation, Spatial Dynamics, Story Development: Settings, Dramatic Sequences & Story Elements, and Voice & Vision. Students will also complete Professional Practices, along with a number of seminar and portfolio creation courses.
The MFA program allows students to customize their course of study, linked to their individual career goals. Students will have the opportunity to work with mentors to develop and execute a plan, and weekly interdisciplinary seminars allow students to discuss ideas, share their work, and provide feedback to each other. Other program highlights include access to common facilities such as a black-and-white darkroom, wood and metal fabrication shops, and a sound booth and exclusive, 24-hour access to the graduate center, which contains semi-private studios assigned to each student, computers with state-of-the-art software, wide-format Epson printers, drawing tables, and kitchen facilities.
Upon completion of all coursework, MFA students will complete a Thesis Exhibition. The MFA program requires 63 credit hours of study to graduate. Graduates of SUVA’s BA and MFA programs are prepared so seek positions such as Storyboard Artist, Production Artist/Animator, Computer Animator, Web Designer/Animator, 2D or 3D Animator, and more.